A contemplative season
This is the season when many people review what has transpired throughout the previous months, and also look ahead to the fresh new year, rich with possibilities. It's often when we vow to change or improve the way we live our lives. To me, that is such a hopeful and human thing to do.
This year, as always, I've been blessed in so many ways. There have been losses large and small this year, painful and sad occasions, but I honor them as part of the rich tapestry that is my life. There was the hive in September that was discovered to be weakened because its queen was failing or had somehow been damaged. November brought the death of Dallas, our home's beloved "Queen Bee," the plucky and ancient little cat who was the last of my four magical felines. The year also presented me with the understanding that some of my relationships could no longer support who we had become, or are becoming, and thus must be ended if they cannot evolve. But I have so much to celebrate and for which to feel grateful, as well. So I have tried not to focus upon the failures and losses longer than necessary.
We are hoping to expand the apiary again in the Spring. There's plenty of planning and work to do in preparation. We've been pleasantly surprised by the support of so many people who are curious about bees, concerned about their plight, and who enjoy the raw honey we extract from our hives. The proceeds of our sales go straight back to beekeeping, and every penny helps. Fortunately, I didn't wake up one morning thinking, "Ah...beekeeping...that will support me in my golden years." Anyone who keeps bees, too, will be amused at the thought. I laughed out loud when Mark Robar remarked to me at a meeting this Summer, "The day I make my first dollar from beekeeping will be the day I get out of the business." He's probably been working with bees for at least 40 years...
Yes, I am so grateful to everyone who aided and supported our endeavors this year. And every time someone asks whether they can buy more honey, I still feel incredibly surprised and happy. One very beautiful moment came in September when Sarah placed her second, very large order of honey. She'd already purchased several pounds of honey about two months earlier, some of which I know she gave to her family and friends. Even so, I was surprised when she asked could her husband to stop in for more. When Jordan arrived I took him out to the back deck so he could see the two hives we had in the garden. I asked about the order he was bringing home--what could they possibly do with so much honey. He said it was to be used for the sacred rituals their family would observe during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I felt so honored and very humbled that our honey would be a part of something so special, and I still am.
So thank you, Everyone, for your friendship, your interest, your caring, and support. Beekeeping has been my great privilege and I am honored that you have chose to be a part of it.
Happy New Year, dear Ones! Wishing you the blessings you deserve and desire, and the opportunities during 2009 to make all your dreams come true.
[The photo above was taken near Llangurig, Wales, December 2008, by Mike Southern. Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
Photo of Dallas, left, was taken May 2008, in the garden of Pleasant Lane Apiary.]